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Flexible Scheduling at ATCA

Swap scheduling

At the Compact Array we are using a system which allows some degree of flexible scheduling.  During periods where millimetre observations are scheduled, most millimetre projects will be assigned partnering centimetre `swap' projects.  These swap partners can be either regular observations, or observations that are observed in a service mode.

There are basically three different types of scheduled observations:

  1. Fixed centimetre projects: These are projects which are scheduled into specific time slots and cannot be swapped.
  2. Millimetre projects: Some 3mm or 7mm projects are matched with one or more "swap" projects that are scheduled one or more days later in the same configuration.  If the millimetre project meets with poor weather, the swap project(s) will be observed instead, and the mm project moved into the slot vacated by the swap project(s).
  3. Swap centimetre projects: These are centimetre projects (involving regular or service observing) which can be substituted for millimetre projects in poor weather.  The partnering between millimetre and centimetre projects is done as part of the scheduling process by the Head of Science Operations.

Swap rules

  1. Scheduled mm projects should only be abandoned in poor weather (e.g. rain) or in case of mm equipment failure.
  2. The decision to switch to the swap project will be that of the mm observer, with advice from observatory staff.
  3. If a swap is made, the mm observer is (by default) responsible for conducting the swap observation, unless the PI of the swap project elects otherwise. If a swap is not made, the proposers of the cm project are responsible for observing their project at the originally scheduled time. The usual remote observing restrictions will apply in all cases.
  4. Proposers of swap cm projects may request (in advance) to be contacted in the event of a swap, so as to be involved in the observation.
  5. If a swap is made, the mm observer (or his/her collaborators) is responsible for conducting the make-up mm observation at the time originally designated for the swap project (generally 1 to 2 days later).
  6. The decision to swap must be made at the start of the assigned mm time, and cannot be changed once observing starts (except at the discretion of the Head of Science Operations).
The table of swap assignments can be accessed via the ATCA schedule page.
Original: Jessica Chapman
Modified: Bob Sault (9-Jan-2004), Phil Edwards (03-mar-2014)